Frans Coenen*

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This volume is on the effectiveness of public participation in environmental decision- making. Participation practices are used in many different contexts, and this book relates participation to the context of environmental decision-making. We have interpreted environmental decision-making quite broadly. All types of decisions that have serious environmental implications and that tend to be facilitated by environmental law, or are perceived by citizens as mainly revolving around environmental issues, are included in this volume. Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration 1992 articulates participation in environmental decision-making as one of the key principles of environmental governance.1 This principle is developed in the Aarhus Convention (1998) that includes improving public participation in decisions relating to the environment as one of its three key pillars.2 The importance of public participation for environmental decision-making and sustainable development is recognised by many international organisations (e.g. OAS, 2001; OECD, 2001; EU, 2002a, b; UN, 20023) and national, regional, and local authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPublic Participation and Better Environmental Decisions
Subtitle of host publicationThe Promise and Limits of Participatory Processes for the Quality of Environmentally Related Decision-making
EditorsFrans H.J.M. Coenen
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4020-9325-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-4020-9324-1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


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